"Senior Years Newsletter"

Your newsletter of information, inspiration and education for seniors, boomers and caregivers on Pre- and Post-Retirement matters.
(Published by Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications - Seniors Services)

~ September 2013 Issue ~

Hello and welcome to this issue of the "Senior Years Newsletter".

As usual, I trust you will find this edition to be as informational, inspirational and educational as promised it to be. Your comments are always welcomed and interesting to me, so do write -- because I care to hear from you.

There are a few new seminar/webinars that I have put together for you and your loved ones and friends. Just check the page at http://www.hofron.com/seminarsonboomersandseniorsissues.html to see what's available.

Also there is a local talk coming up for Campbell River and Courtenay on October 1 and 2nd... see details in the "Special Article - News Release on Local Event" just below.

Enjoy the newsletter!
Blessings and good health to you,

Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA
(Certified Professional Consultant on Aging)

Special Article - News Release on Local Event:

The Role and Support of Caregivers in Today’s Growing Senior Population.

Campbell River, September 24, 2013 –
Courtenay, September 24, 2013 -

In celebration of National Seniors Day on October 1st, Diane Hoffmann, Certified Professional Consultant on Aging will be giving a free 40-minute talk over lunch on the role and support of caregivers in today’s growing seniors population.

 “Our aging population is considered a ‘phenomenon’ in Canada. The trend is essentially due to 2 factors: 1. an increase in longevity and 2. a decrease in the birth rate. Right now, statistics show that 1 out of 8 Canadians is a senior.  In the next few years, when the boomers reach a peak, it will be 1 in 5.”, Ms Hoffmann says.

Family members in Canada are responsible for about 90% of caregiving. That means most people are cared for by a family member, friend or neighbour – up until it is no longer feasible for the safety of the care recipient. At this point, the elderly person needs to be registered in a seniors institutional facility.

It is expected that soon we will see more seniors looking after seniors. For example junior seniors of around 60 to 75 years of age will be helping senior seniors in the 75 to 80 plus years old. These folks may also still be helping their adult children or grandchildren. The situation often creates a major impact on the emotional and physical health as well as finances of these seniors.

As a whole, Canadian seniors report good health, but studies show that 82% are suffering from a chronic health condition. According to the National Advisory Council on aging 47% have a long-term disability or handicap.

Almost half of the care-help is with “instrumental activities”,(i.g. cooking, cleaning, meals, laundry, banking, transportation, bill paying, etc. The next largest need represents a higher level of care with what are known as “activities of daily living” (ADL), such as: dressing, toileting, bathing, transferring, feeding, etc.

There is a great sense of joy and satisfaction to be gained by the caregivers in helping their family member or friend, giving them a sense of purpose and love in action.  It should be a positive and transformational process for all.

However, there is also another side that can be negative for some.  Caregiving for a family member can result in many problems and challenges such as financial stress, lost social benefits, physical,  emotional and behavioural stress.

Ms Hoffmann wants to help and support the role of the caregivers in these instances. Her talks will take place at lunch time, October 1 and October 2, between 12:15 and 1:15, at the following locations:

October 1st, 12:15 to 1:15 -- Courtenay:
Serious Coffee, 2760 Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay where lunch and coffee can be purchased. 

October 2nd, 12:15 to 1:15 -- Campbell River:
MacDonalds Restaurant, 1477 Island Hwy in Campbell River where lunch and coffee can be purchased.


1. Feature article:

Is Long-Term Care Insurance a good idea?
by Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is a fairly new product made available by financial planners. It is designed to take care of your financial gap between government pensions and what you will need later on in your old age.

To give you an idea, let's look at some statistical comparisons put out by the Canadian Academy of Senior Advisors :

-- the chances of you making a claim against your house insurance policy in a given year are  1 in 1,200.

-- the chances of you makin a claim against your car insurance policy in a given year are 1 in 240.

On the other hand the odds of you making a claim against your long term care insurance during the life of that policy are 1 in 3. In other words, an estimated 1 in 3 Canadian families will face long term care issues in the future.

Given these statistics, why are so few people taking up LTC insruance? Studies show that there are four primary reasons:

1_It is costly.
2_Folks want to wait for better policies.
3_They don't believe they will be affected.
4_The many choices are confusing.

It is said that most long term care takes place in private homes, rather than nursing homes or assisted living facilities and the average length of long term care is over 8 years and more.

The majority of the cost associated will be absorbed by families, not the government... can you or your family afford to pay for these costs?

The regulated nursing home system ensures a fairly consistent level of basic care for the most part. But there is less government support for active seniors who want to live in-home or in a retirement residence.

As one needs increasing care, the costs can often be afforded by only the wealthiest. For this reason LTC often becomes a solution. But, unfortunately the premiums are expensive. A policy purchased at the age of 45 that provides around $2,500 in monthly benefits might cost some $1,200 to $1,900 a year for a man or woman respectively.

But, if that same policy is purchased at the age of 65 that cost increases to between $3,000 to $4,800 (MoneySense, Beginner's Guide to Personal Finance).

It's worth checking with your insurance company to see how much it would cost you in your area.

Increasing challenge

Historically, most Canadians have expected the government to provide for their care in old age. But 72% believe services for the elderly will be an increased challenge for the provincial government in the next 10 years.

According to Canada-Life Insurance.org, long term care Insurance covers what your provincial health plan does not. This coverage ensures that the cost of long term care does not impact your savings and retirement income nor become a financial strain on your loved ones. Long Term Care Insurance can cover expenses such as:

--care by a certified nurse
--rehabilitation and therapy
--personal care & home care services (assistance with daily activiites such as: dressing, cooking, cleaning)
--supervision by another individual
-- etc... depending on the needs.

In the future, the responsibility for paying for a seniors’ care will increasingly fall to the seniors and their families. Even now many families do not have the financial resources to assist with the care of their elderly parents. Future seniors should not plan to rely on their families to contribute to the cost of their care. The future seniors are people who are currently 65 years of age and younger, although it is not too late for the current and pre- seniors to get long-term care insurance.
As with most types of insurance, the premium price increases as the person gets older. Also, the likelihood of qualifying for the insurance decreases as health conditions increase with age. We are living longer and need to be able to deal with the financial burden for medical treatment, health care and quality of life. There is a real chance that we might need to enter a long term care facility or receive special medical attention, especially towards the end of our lives.

As we age we should be prepared to have the resources to pay for our care whether it is in our home or in a long term care facility. There will also likely be fewer people available to care for us, so that may be another cost to get skilled people to care for us.
Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of the services and support necessary to maintain the day-to-day care should a chronic illness or cognitive impairment keep you from being able to perform the activities of daily living. Some examples of the activities of daily living are dressing, feeding, toileting, transferring, continence and bathing. Or we may need continual supervision because of deteriorated mental ability. Homemaking services are meal preparation, cleaning and laundry.
Even if you do have family available to assist, many seniors do not want their children to help them with toileting or bathing. Care may be provided in the home, the community or in a facility that provides long term care.  A long term care facility has services performed by or under the continual supervision of a physician or registered nurse in the facility.

Various insurance companies offer long-term Care insurance, each with its own options. Now is the time to research long-term care insurance. Younger people should also consider this insurance as they would more likely qualify and their premiums would be lower.


2. Ask the Experts:

Q.: The time has come to look for a new housing arrangement for my mother, what are the things I should look for in assessing the needs?

A.: According to various articles and web sites, here is a list of some of the common questions and observations to ask and look for:


What can you afford? Are there subsidies available in the type of housing you require?


Do you need a location that is near relatives or friends? Do you want to stay in the community you are familiar with?


What are your care needs? Do you need minimal assistance? Do you have a medical or mobility condition that requires more care attention, like Alzheimer’s, for example?


Are you going to live by yourself? Do you have a friend or spouse that will move with you, and if so, are your care needs similar? (Be sure to ask what happens if the care needs of one of you changes or increases. You may not be able to stay in the same facility unless it is one that provides the care services that both of you need.)


Do you want all your meals provided or just some? Do you want to cook for yourself? Do you want the option of doing either? Do you have special dietary needs? What are the meals like (try to visit at meal time to see what’s being served and how it is served). Can friends or family bring meals in? Do you need help eating?


How physically fit or active are you? Do you want to maintain or improve your physical fitness through exercise and does the facility offer this? Are there planned activities like shopping, movies or visits to local venues of interest? Are you near a gym or recreation centre?


What would make you feel at home? Do you want your laundry and housekeeping done for you? Do you want a place to garden or do some kind of project (woodworking, quilting, etc.)

PERSONAL SERVICES: Do you need help with bathing, dressing, toileting, mobility, eating, taking medications or other activities of daily living? (Usually these services are a part of an Assisted Living residences’ mandate.) The extent to which you require these services may determine the type of residence that most suits your needs. Is there any indication that your needs could change in the near future, and will this affect where you live?

POSSESSIONS: How much of your personal possessions do you want to take with you to your new residence? Can the new place accommodate what you want to bring?

PRIVACY: Do you have a suite with a lockable door? If in a higher level care facility, what level of privacy do staff maintain (do they close doors when helping residents change or bathe?). Are there private places to visit with guests?

DISCHARGE POLICIES: Under what conditions may a resident stay in a facility and what terms or conditions could cause the resident to be discharged? Who decides?

QUALITY OF CARE: Is there a government oversight committee that regularly checks on the type of care provided? Does the facility have a policy that outlines their commitment to the resident? Is there a residents’ “Bill of Rights”?

RULES OR RESTRICTIONS: Can you have a pet? Can you smoke? Can you have alcohol? Can you cook in your suite? Can you have guests anytime? Can you invite guest to join you at meal times?

SECURITY: Does the level of security provided make you feel assured of your safety?

If you would like an assessment to determine the type of placement you might quality for (as it relates to supportive, assisted or complex care), contact your regional Health Authority.

I also wrote an article about moving into an apartment which you may find helpful as further considerations. You can get it at this link:

Diane M. Hoffmann, CPCA


3. Heart Healthy Recipe:

Speedy Turkey Stroganoff
A quick fix for your turkey or chicken leftovers. Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 5 min | Makes: 2 servings
• 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
• 1/2 lb (250 g) cooked turkey breast, cut into bite size pieces
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) fat free sour cream or low-fat yogurt
• 2 tbsp (25 mL) sherry
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
• Ground nutmeg for garnish
1.Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Add onion and mushrooms, sauté until soft. Add turkey, cook through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
2.In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and sherry until smooth. Stir into turkey mixture. Heat but do not allow to boil. Add pepper. Garnish with nutmeg. Serve over whole wheat pasta.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:Calories: 310, Protein: 39 g, Total fat: 6 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 100 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fibre: 1 g, Sugars: 7 g, Sodium: 290 mg, Potassium: 564 mg
Source: Recipe by CanolaInfo.org ©, Reprinted with Permission from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, www.heartandstroke.com


4. Quote or Joke of the Month:

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Quotes

"Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise." Sophia Bedford-Pierce

On Memory:

“My memory is gone Mildred, so I changed my password
to “Incorrect.” That way when I log in with the wrong password,
the computer will tell me… “Your password is incorrect.”

The neighbors thought it was odd, but 93 year old Morton was dating again.  One Monday morning Morton woke up with a funny feeling that something important happened last night.  It was during breakfast, that Morton finally remembered what it was.  He had proposed to his date Greta. But what she answered he just couldn’t seem to remember.  Morton picked up the phone and dialed.  ”Hi Greta”, said Morton, “I have a funny question for you, do you remember last night when I proposed?”  ”Oh my gosh” gushed Greta, “I’m so glad you called, I knew I said yes to somebody but I just couldn’t recall who it was!”

Source: http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/jokes/senior-jokes/


5. Did you know?

Injury Related Hospitalizations
Falls are the second leading cause, after motor vehicle collisions, of injury-related hospitalizations for all ages, accounting for 29% of injury admissions.
Seniors age 65 and over accounted for 40% of all injury hospitalizations, the largest proportion of all injury hospitalizations. Falls accounted for 85% of injury hospitalizations in this age group.
A 20% reduction in falls would translate to an estimated 7,500 fewer hospitalizations and 1,800 fewer permanently disabled seniors. The overall national savings could amount to $138 million annually.
Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information. National trauma registry 2004 report: Injury hospitalizations (includes 2001-2003 data). Ottawa: 2004, SMARTRISK. The economic burden of unintentional injury in Canada. 1998.


6. Seniors Tip:

Injury Prevention

Although exotic infections make the headlines, injury is the most common cause of preventable death among travellers. Seniors can minimize their risk of serious injury by following these guidelines:

    -Always wear a seatbelt.
    -Don't ride in cars after dark in developing countries.
    -Avoid small, local planes.
    -Don't travel at night in questionable areas.

In addition, seniors should ensure they have travel health insurance in case of injury or illness overseas. Regular health plans, such Medicare, may not pay for treatment received outside the country, or may pay only a portion of the cost.

Seniors who are planning travel to remote areas should consider purchasing evacuation insurance, which will pay for emergency transportation to a qualified hospital.

Source: www.seniorsgotravel.com

- End -


Blessings to all,

See you next month!

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